A U.S. spacecraft contacted down onto an antiquated asteroid around 200 million miles away on Tuesday, as a major aspect of a mission to gather a sample and take it back to Earth to consider.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft contacted the outside of asteroid Bennu for an endeavoured sample collection at around 6 p.m. EDT. At 6:18 p.m. EDT, NASA declared on Twitter that the sample collection was finished.
The mission previously dispatched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in 2016, and the spacecraft arrived at Bennu in 2018. All spacecraft telemetry information demonstrates the TAG function executed true to form. In any case, it will take about seven days for the OSIRIS-REx group to affirm how many samples the spacecraft gathered.
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🌟TOUCH DOWN, BENNU!🌟 Asteroid Bennu has been booped! Shown here is a visualization of the TAG (Touch-And-Go) event from our @osiris_rex mission that really happened more than 200 million miles away, TODAY! It begins with the spacecraft’s departure from orbit and continues through key moments including the checkpoint, matchpoint, TAG, and backaway maneuvers. Next stop: Earth in 2023! Major congratulations to the TAG team of @NASAGoddard, @LockheedMartin, @UArizona, and all those who supported this decade-long journey. Credit: NASA, Kel Elkins #NASA #ToBennuAndBack #Asteroid #Geology #Space #SpaceROCKS #MakingHistory #TAGTeamBackAgain
Constant information shows the TAGSAM effectively reached the surface and terminated an explosion of nitrogen gas. The gas ought to have worked up residue and rocks on Bennu’s surface, some of which ought to have been caught in the TAGSAM sample collection head. OSIRIS-REx engineers additionally affirmed that soon after the spacecraft connected with the surface, it terminated its engines and securely moved in the opposite direction from Bennu.
The spacecraft completed TAG self-sufficiently, with pre-customized guidelines from engineers on Earth. Presently, the OSIRIS-REx group will start to evaluate whether the spacecraft snatched any material, and, assuming this is the case, how much; the objective is in any event 60 grams, which is generally identical to a full-size treat.
OSIRIS-REx engineers and researchers will utilize a few methods to distinguish and quantify the sample distantly. To begin with, they’ll think about pictures of the Nightingale site when TAG to perceive how much surface material moved around because of the explosion of gas.
To store the sample, engineers will order the robotic arm to put the sample gatherer head into the Sample Return Capsule (SRC), situated in the body of the spacecraft. The sample arm will at that point withdraw to the side of the spacecraft for the last time, the SRC will close, and the spacecraft will get ready for its takeoff from Bennu in March 2021 — this is whenever Bennu will be appropriately lined up with Earth for the most eco-friendly return flight.